I woke up, and I was suddenly showered with regret. I’m sure the average person has had at least ONE of those nights. Whether it is a night that is a little too much fun, or the middle-of-the-night (somewhat crazy-puff) moments where we can’t resist, we’ve had a 3 a.m. regret.
For me, it was a text. Two texts to be exact. Friendly in nature, but completely unnecessary; sent to someone that I’m unfortunately not friends with anymore. In the light of a new day, I was frustrated with myself that I sent those texts. My mind immediately jumped to self-shaming thoughts and an overwhelming amount of guilt. All because of two texts.
Picking Myself Up
However, I’ve more recently been reading a lot of articles and books about “getting curious.” Peeling back the layers of the onion to find out “why.” Why did I send those texts to that person? Why am I feeling overwhelming amounts of shame and guilt? What should I do about it?
Previously, I would have immediately followed up with an apology text. Just another text to be read (by goodness knows who) and unanswered. So, I didn’t. Instead, I did this:
- My day started with me treating myself to a manicure and a pedicure – feeling pretty!
- Following this, I headed out into nature and put my newly painted nails in the sandy beach
- I spent some time in silence and meditated
- Then, I turned to a couple of my closest friends for some insight
- The evening wrapped up with not one, but two journal entries
What do all of these things have in common? Self-care and being self-aware. Yes, I screwed up in sending those texts. In the moment, surrounded by common friends, the little voice encouraged me to send that text, but that moment doesn’t define me. That moment isn’t big enough to cause me to spiral into shame and guilt. Instead, through those five, simple things, I actually had time to work through the “why” to ensure that I wouldn’t do it again.
I’m writing this blog to say that we all mess up. We take steps forward, only to be knocked a few steps backward. However, it’s what we DO in those moments of being knocked backward that determine our next steps forward. It would have been easy to send that apology text, spend the day self-shaming, and riding the guilt trip, only to possibly do it again another night. I chose to know better; I chose to do better.
What about you? Are you ready to peel back the layers of the onion? Choose to better yourself, not to shame yourself. That 3 a.m. regret doesn’t define you; it gives you an opportunity to learn and move forward.